Most of my classmates entering grammer school spoke no English except a few choice expletives, and they started school late every Fall
because they had to help their grandmothers harvest acorns (the major staple of Calif Indians) and materials for basket making. A number of
really old ones were still alive, including one who still had a feud going with an old white neighbor of ours, because they had been shooting at
each other in their youth! (The local Indian population was never exterminated or "pacified" like the tribes in the Gold Rush country slightly to
the north, but was slowly assimilated thru intermarriage, trade, ranch employment, etc). Everything has changed. Most are now dead. Some
have become casino multimillionaires (including the gal that was my square dance partner as a little kid), and a few have gotten their phD's
and have returned to record the tiny bit of authentic traditional still left. One of my cross-country running friends has founded a language
school for young Indian kinds to keep the local dialect alive. At this point in time, what Indian kids know about Indians is mostly from John
Wayne movies. ... just stereotypes. So I feel grateful that I got to know some of the very last of the Indians who had grown up aboriginal,
prior to any white contact. Somewhat later a book was published called Almost Ancestors, with early photographs of California Indians. I was
surprised to see a couple of my mother's best friends in there (photographed as children, of course).